The determination of macroscopic properties of a material in terms of the underlying mesoscopic characteristics is of fundamental importance to Materials Science. Moreover, the engineering of the shape, size, spatial distribution, and local interactions of the phases and shapes that conform a material or device component is of paramount interest for the advancement and improvement of technology. We present an overview of a public domain program, the Object Oriented Finite Element analysis (OOF), which predicts macroscopic behavior, starting from an image of the microstructure and ending with results from finite element calculations. The program reads an image (or a sequence of images) and assigns material properties to microscopic features. Upon creating a mesh, the topological complexity of the microstructure is resolved by using automated mesh adapting and refining tools. With the resultant mesh, virtual tests are performed to deduce macroscopic behavior, field localization, etc. OOF is designed to be used by materials scientists with little or no computational background. It can solve for a wide range of physical phenomena and can be easily extended. Example applications include rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, thermoelectric generators, ferroelectric materials, just to mention a few.
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EE 317, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN